Some weights and measurements useful to bakers: Scottish dry and liquid measurements

The Scottish measures were officially abolished in favour of the Imperial at the union of the crowns in 1707, but some are still in use as for instance, the Scottish pint by bakers, and the boll by farmers and grain dealers.

Scotch Dry measure
4 lippies = 1 peck
4 pecks = 1 firlot
4 firlots = 1 boll
16 bolls = 1 chalder
1 boll = 6 Imperial bushel

Scotch liquid measure
2 mutchkins = 1 chopin
2 chopins = 1 scotch pint
1 scotch pint = 3 imperial pints

Flour was, or is, calculated by the peck and its weight is 8lbs, evidently a relic of the Old Scotch or Trone weight, which had 16lbs to the stone, and a peck is half a stone.

The fourth part of a boll of corn, or one and a half imperial bushels.

According to Old Scot’s law, the Linlithow wheat firlot was the standard measurement for wheat and this was equivalent to 21.5 Scotch pints, or 2197.3 cubic inches. This firlot was used in measuring wheat, rye, beans, pease, salt and grass seed. The barley firlot was larger. It had a capacity of 3205.5 cubic inches. It was used in measuring barley, malt, oats, fruit and potatoes

Boll (Scotch Bow)
An old Scottish measurement for wheat or barley, still used among grain merchants and farmers. The standard boll has a a capacity of 87732.2 English cubic inches, and is to the English bushes as 4.08 is to 1.

A Scots liquid measure with a capacity of half a Scotch pint. There were originally 2 mutchkins to the chopin, but the mutchkin measure is the only one still retained in general use in the retail spirit trade, and is now the equivalent of one Imperial pint, although originally a mutchkin was a little more.

From The Baker’s ABC by John Kirkland, formerly Head Teacher of National School of Baking, published 1927 by Gresham


2 responses to “Some weights and measurements useful to bakers: Scottish dry and liquid measurements

  1. Poetry!

  2. There are some wonderful words in that piece.